Amy Claeys began her love affair with photography in a high school black and white film class. She loved the creativity of the class, but let it fall to the wayside after graduation.
In 2001, after the birth of her first child, her husband felt that she was spending too much money on developing film of the new baby, so for her birthday he bought her her first digital camera, an Olympus C4040 Zoom. 4.1 megapixels of digital goodness.
In 2009, Amy founded The Royal Oak Photography Group. ROP started out as a photo walk group. After about a year of taking photos with her group, Amy realized that she wanted to become a better photographer, so she enrolled in the photo program at Oakland Community College. That is where she fell in love with film photography. Developing and printing film, both color and black and white, has become Amy’s absolute place of Zen.
Six years later ROP now has over 1000 members, some who travel from Ohio to attend events. Amy still hosts several photo walks a year, as well as styled model shoots, photography discussions, critiques and almost 20 different workshops, all from her Clawson studio.
Now a widowed mother of two teenagers, Amy currently owns Amy Claeys Photography, LLC, and works as a full time freelance photographer. She primarily photographs weddings and seniors along with families, babies and environmental headshots. It’s really all about the journey of photographing people. While her photo sessions are shot primarily in digital format, she always brings along some film, and will shoot a roll or two at each photo session. It’s Amy’s goal as a photographer to put a little bit of art back into everyday portrait photography.
Photo courtesy of Julien Brasseur.